Joseph Clovese, G.A.R. veteran, at the 83rd and final G.A.R. reunion held in Indianapolis, Indiana on August 28, 1949.
This was the first Civil War reunion for the former Union soldier who had been born into slavery 105 years earlier. Born January 30, 1844 on a plantation in St. Bernard Parish, LA, Clovese deserted his master in his early teens to join the Union Army during the Siege of Vicksburg. He stayed with the Northern Army, first as a drummer boy, later as an infantryman. He was a private in Co. “C”, 63rd Colored Infantry Regiment. He died at Dearborn Veterans Hospital on July 13, 1951. He was the last surviving African American member of the Union Army. He was also Michigan’s last Civil War survivor. His death left only five other Union and sixteen Confederate survivors.